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Vigneault on Kreider, Miller, Fast, keepers and cuts

Chris Kreider of the Rangers is introduced as

Chris Kreider of the Rangers is introduced as a star of the game against the Boston Bruins during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Madison Square Garden. (May 23, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Personally, I didn't think Chris Kreider wowed enough people in camp (to be fair he was on a line early with Brad Richards and Rick Nash, who had slugglish starts), and was assigned to Hartford

 “I thought Chris had a good camp but at the end of the day when we made the assessments who should stay here in what role we came to the conclusion that he’s a real young player and he needs to play," said Vigneault. "As much as I believe he’s real close and he probably could play at our level right now, he needs to play big minutes and good minutes and I felt with our group right now I wasn’t going to be able to give him those minutes.”

J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast beat him out. Here's Vigneault's reasoning:

 “When I looked at what Fast did throughout training camp I really liked his hockey smarts and skill level. And being a right hander with Ryan (Callahan) not there for the start, I thought it was a good fit.”

 “Miller just got better as camp went on and did some good things offensively. He still has a lot of work to do. He was able to put a foot in the door. We’ll see how he does in the battle to stay in the top 12 forwards.”

Arron Asham was kept for his physical presence, Vigneault said, but didn't exactly offer glowing remarks on d-man Justin Falk, who will be the 7th D to start.

 “That was a challenging one. The player that really caught our attention, Conor Allen, wasn’t in Traverse City, didn’t catch our staff’s attention. But as soon as he stepped on the ice with us, he was good. Basically the job we had available was the seventh spot fighting to get into the top three pairs. (Allen) is a young guy. He needs to play. It’s an easy call up if we need him. Justin’s camp was all right. There’s room for improvement. He knows the situation.”  One issue: Allen's cap hit would be $1.7 mil.

Vigneault also said d-man Stu Bickel, who was cut, did not play that much in the past two seasons, but could be back because he's a righty who plays with an edge.

Vigneault said that Darroll Powe, who "did everything he could do, he came to camp in shape and put his best game on ice," was trimmed because "we felt some of those younger players had a little more upside as far as talent and skill.” But he added that he hoped Powe would clear waivers and play in the AHL.  Marek Hrivik, Brandon Mashinter and Oscar Lindberg also were sent to Hartford. 

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